I have a sizable collection of old books. Some of these editions are extremely rare in addition to being worth quite a bit of money. I have spent the past twenty years searching book stores, flea markets, estate sales in addition to antique stores for books. I sometimes purchase volumes simply because the leather bindings and parchment pages appeal to me. I take good care of my collection, and never handle them without wearing gloves. The oils from our fingertips could cause irreparable damage. I am quite conscientious about temperature in addition to humidity control. Excess moisture could lead to mold in and mildew. Too much humidity might cause the pages and bindings to crack and crumble. I have invested in a heating and cooling plan with zone control. This allows me to have a specific temperature for the room that houses our collection. Along with the heating and cooling system, I use a humidifier and dehumidifier. In the winter, with the furnace running, the air tends to become overly dry. The humidifier introduces necessary moisture and gives me the capability to determine relative humidity. In the summer, the heater handles the heat, however is not effective against excess moisture. The dehumidifier combats the sticky feeling in addition to the growth of harmful bacteria. Although the replacements to our Heating, Ventilation and A/C and to air quality were expensive, our house is more comfortable as well as much healthier. Plus, the humidifier and dehumidifier promote more conservative temperature control settings, and so I am able to spend less on our biweekly energy bills. I am thankful that the integrity of our rare book collection is protected.
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